Back in the day, Pat and Joyce had a great and intimate sex life. But that was before kids, demanding work and life responsibilities. Over the last couple of months, they have tried to rekindle the flame with romantic date nights, get-away weekends and even sex texting. But the couple keep fizzling out and not igniting a spark at all. Frustration, fatigue and being constantly tired have crept into their lives and overshadowed what was once a vital aspect of their relationship. Not getting adequate sleep can have far-reaching effects especially when it comes to the bedroom. Sleep disorders like insomnia and obstructive sleep apnea can have a profound impact on a couple’s sex life in both the short and long term. Is it possible to treat sleep disorders and restore intimacy?
What Sleep Disorders Affect Sex?
It is currently estimated that between 30 and 40 percent of American adults are plagued with insomnia. Trouble falling asleep and staying that way affects the other bed partner. Sometimes to the point that the couple sleeps in separate bedrooms, which doesn’t bode well to restore intimacy. With insomnia, there comes varying levels of sleep deprivation. Some of the associated symptoms are low energy, grumpiness and fatigue, which are definitely deterrents to having sex. Most insomniacs are too tired to relax and enjoy the intimacy.
If the man or woman has sleep apnea, this condition might be a factor leading to a less than satisfactory sex life. Sleep apnea, specifically obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), is characterized as pauses in breathing throughout the night due to an obstruction in the individual’s airway. Oxygen is not getting into the circulation and to the brain. With disrupted sleep, people with OSA can experience decreased sex drive, moodiness, daytime sleepiness, poor concentration and memory issues. Making matters worse for people with sleep apnea is the following: men are more prone to erectile dysfunction and women to loss of sex drive. When left untreated, sleep apnea can negatively affect health in other ways. In fact, risk for high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke and type 2 diabetes can astronomically rise.
As with any suspected medical problem, it is important to get an accurate diagnosis and seek treatment. Whether you have insomnia, sleep apnea or another sleeping disorder, you need to recognize the fact that lack of sleep can impact your mood and sex life.
Unfortunately, one of the most common treatment options for sleep apnea is continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP). Although the forced air helps to keep the airway open, the sleep apnea sufferer must wear a mask. Not the most provocative attire to wear/use in bed. Nevertheless, if the individual is compliant with CPAP use and sleep apnea symptoms decrease then invariably this treatment will restore intimacy and sexual relations. This fact was validated in a 2010 study appearing in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine.
However, it is possible to cure sleep apnea with radiofrequency ablation (RFA) treatment and then the sufferer would not have to worry about a CPAP mask killing the mood. RFA is a procedure whereby small bursts of energy are directed toward tissue to produce a scar. Using RFA on the tongue for OSA works by shrinking down the tongue so that it no longer falls back during sleep to block the individual’s airway.
RFA occurs over the course of several treatment sessions over several months. From the time a patient enters the office, it takes no more than 45 minutes, with in-chair RFA device treatment for about 5 minutes maximum. With each subsequent treatment, the tongue shrinks and the patient has fewer and fewer episodes where he or she stops breathing while sleeping.
All patients that have been treated with RFA at a Sleep Apnea Treatment Centers of America facility have seen a 100 percent improvement of their sleep apnea symptoms: restored intimacy, more energy, an uptick in sexual relations, less daytime sleepiness, better concentration and improved memory, and decreased risk for developing life-threatening illnesses such as high blood pressure, diabetes and stroke. Even better news is the fact that 73 percent of patients have their sleep apnea cured!
If you suspect you might have sleep disorder such as sleep apnea and would like to learn about an individualized treatment plan, please contact one of our medical concierges today at 1-855-863-4537 to schedule a free consultation.